Charities running events are moving away from balls, and hotels, and running a wider variety of events in a wider variety of venues.

These are two of the trends noted over the last 20 years by Mary Kay Eyerman, editor of the London Datebook charity magazine who notes that a number of charity sporting events are supplementing the London Marathon with more marathons, half-marathons, long walks, shorter walks for toddlers and bike rides. Events in hotels are being supplemented with some in livery halls, restaurants, art galleries, stately homes, and even prisons, ( good places to have Lord Archer at?) and all to offer donors somewhere different they might like to go to.

A departure from all this going out, notes Eyerman, is the latest Macmillan Cancer Support event “A Really Good Night In” which asks donors to plan a night in with friends and donate would they would have spent on going out, a worrying possibility for venues. It will be interesting to see if charities use these nights in to sell branded merchandise – welcome to Party Plan.

The general lack of money around, which will probably last for at least another two years, is forcing charities to think of more on-the-night activities to make their fundraising events raise more funds. Some advice given out at a free seminar presented by specialist charity event organisers Sacramento Events at the recent Charities and Associations Exhibition, CHASE included:-

o Don’t hard sell all the time. A good balance between entertainment and fundraising time is 50-50.

o Have a range of donation options that allows every guest to afford something

o Silent auctions, whereby a range of prizes are subject of sealed bids on the night are always popular, with bargains possible for guests, although good auctioneers might get more for the same items and earn their fee.

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